NME New Music Tour

Maximo Park, Boy Kill Boy, Komankino @ The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
May 2005

The final gig on the south coast has arrived far too quickly, not long now and i’ll be returning to Canterbury and its wide array of crap music. I don’t know what it is but rock musicians seem to be allergic to kent, extremely annoying! Well as we entered i was greeted with a sigh saying 2 of the 3 artists have pulled out due to illness, just great. So no Nine Black Alps and The Checks were no more. Just as well that nme had some backups in the wings, and decent ones at that.

Komankino kicked us off, with a burst of youthful punk teen energy from a baby faced singer who didn’t seem old enough to legally drink the Stella he was necking. High energy and harsh rhythms were a core to their music and it works.

The second replacements Boy Kill Boy were really good, same sort of sensibilities as the opening act only did it with a more grown up attitude and style. The lead singer’s grin made him instantly likable British Dave Grohl. Songs were good rocky and had a sound whch could make them very popular with the industry.

Now Maximo Park, the real reason why i got these tickets. When i first clapped eyes on the lead singer i thought he’d walked straight off the set of Grange Hill in his school jumper. A gimmick which was just not geeky enough to made you turn and walk out (The book of poetry he brandished pushed this as well). Thank God their music was better that their dress sense. They plays basically every track from their debut album ‘A Certain Trigger’ from the poppy ‘Kiss you better’ to rock gems such as ‘Signal and Sign’and the utterly superb ‘The Coast Is Always Changing’. You can tell the singer was one of those who sat down in a corner at his school disco’s from his distinct lack of cool. However this and his awful dancing skills, thrown in with some camp jumps make him quite likable.

I really enjoyed all the bands, i hope BoyKillBoy make it big coz the singer is cool, Maximo Park already have made an impact probably because the singer is uncool, go figure :s

Hot Hot Heat

Hot Hot Heat, The Departure @ Concord2, Brighton
May 2005

Here we are again, this week is Brighton and ‘The Departure’ and ‘Hot Hot Heat’. We saw the departure at reading 2004, thought they were good and so booked the tickets on the strength of this (even though they were only support for the gig).

The Fever kicked us off with lively and swift rock tracks primarily keyboard based. The music itself was quite good, which is much more than could be said for the vocals. Vocally you couldn’t hear a thing, the singer was so out of place in the band and was basically Pants! Nuff Said!!

The Departure started with one of their previous singles including ‘Be My Enemy’ and ‘All Mapped Out’. These tracks were excellent, the 80’s psychodelic influenced guitar effects and the driving lyrics were great. However as the set went on the tracks did become relatively weak, relying heavily on their musical effects rather than melodies. Just seem like another band in the similar vein to all new British indie rock groups at the moment, but did add the twisted effects into the mix to set them aside from run of the mill. They were good, but could have been a whole lot better. I’d like to see them again when they have a few more decent tracks in the bag.

Having never heard of this Canadian four piece Hot Hot Heat i didn’t know what to expect, turns out these guys are very Hammond Organ/piano and rock driven power pop. This probably explained the enormous amount of teenage kids who were well past their bed time. Still no doubt about it, they rocked!! The piano sound was only outdone by the great vocals as the lead singer cascaded into one catchy chorus after the next ( although i don’t think that news that a huge Toploader’eque Afro is unfashionable, has traveled to Canada quite yet). The lead singer was very energetic and had the crowd jumping in all manner of directions (mainly u and down right in my line of vision…grrr). They played all the standout tracks from their new album, ‘Elevator’ and their debut.

The best track was definitely ‘Bandages’ so simple, so piano driven yet so catchy and great to sing along to even if you don’t know the words(it doesn’t take too long to work them out). They ended on their opener for the new album ‘Running out of time’ which is what they duely did and departed after making a grand impression on me and the Jinxster.